Hungarian Lilac - no offspring
Lilacs are one of the most beloved and versatile flowering shrubs. It’s hard to imagine the transition from spring to summer without their delicious aroma and lush brushes. Lilacs are always perceived almost as a homogeneous group of plants, although the choice from different varieties and even species is quite large. One of the unfairly neglected gardeners of the species of lilac that can surprise with later flowering and other purely practical advantages is the Hungarian lilac. This is a fairly compact shrub that is suitable even for a small garden.
Description of Hungarian Lilac
The Hungarian lilac got its name not by chance. This compact shrub into the garden culture was introduced in almost unchanged “wild” form, hardly yielded to selection and could not boast of a good varietal palette. In nature, it is as easy to recognize among other plants as in the collection of garden shrubs. In the natural environment, Hungarian lilacs are mainly distributed in the Carpathian regions, in the north of the Balkan Peninsula and on the territory of Hungary. It is considered a relic plant and a protected species protected at the legislative level. In the culture, this type of lilac was introduced earlier than other less popular species - since 1830. And since then, Hungarian lilacs are considered one of the most reliable types of lilacs for regions with harsh winters and one of the best candidates for urban gardening, decoration of small gardens or use in flower gardens of any size.
All over the family Lilac (Syringa) it is difficult to find a plant more compact than hungarian lilac (Syringa josikaea) This plant is limited to a maximum of 3-4 m, even in the natural environment. The diameter of the crown is always less than the height, which makes the lilac seem slender and elegant. At the same time, the shrub develops quickly enough, but, having reached optimal sizes, then it differs in the amazing stability of the crown and practically does not change. Hungarian lilacs seem to be a constant, unchanging and stable islet in the company of their relatives. Crohn is most often neat, strictly roundish by nature, not requiring formation. The shoots of this lilac are erect, beautifully and densely branching, directed upwards, creating a crown that is delicate and quite attractive even in winter. The color of the bark of the old shoots is indistinguishable from other lilacs, but the young purple-violet twigs make a pleasant revival in the spring garden. This type of lilac does not give root offspring, which complicates the reproduction, but it opens up new prospects for use in the design of the garden.
Hungarian lilacs are most easily identified by leaves. In shape, they are very similar to other types of lilacs, but the pubescence of the lower side (along the middle vein) and the ciliary edge makes this species easy to identify. No other species of lilac leaves retain this characteristic. The length of leaves in adult shrubs reaches 13 cm. Depending on the characteristics of the soil and growing conditions in Hungarian lilacs, the leaves can be either widely elliptical or more lanceolate. But the pressed veins almost always appear brightly on them. Changing the color of leaves of Hungarian lilacs is not the most spectacular, but still serves as a decoration for the garden. The dark green color of the summer crown is replaced by violet spots in the fall, and the bizarre purplish-purple color of the upper side of the leaf plates is combined with the yellowish-golden tone of the pubescent lower side.
The flowering of Hungarian lilacs in terms of spectacularity and massiveness, of course, will give way to popular garden species. But in its openwork, it surpasses them by several times. Loose panicles make an extremely elegant impression, they contain only non-double, rather small, but pleasantly fragrant, long-tubular flowers. In inflorescences, a tier structure and a narrower form are more clearly visible (it is the tiering that makes it easy to distinguish this type of lilac from relatives). The diameter of the flowers of the Hungarian lilac never exceeds 1 cm, but the length of the magnificent panicles can reach 30 cm. After flowering, cylindrical red boxes of fruits ripen in mid-autumn, but can remain on the bush until spring.
One of the main advantages of the Hungarian woman is the great variability of the color palette. The color of the flowers on the plant depends not only on the age of the tree, but even on the weather, composition and characteristics of the soil, can vary from season to season and may differ from previous years. In this case, we are not talking about a radical change in color, but only about the difference in color saturation, tone intensity.
The flowering of Hungarian lilacs usually begins two to three weeks after the common lilac. The first flowers bloom in panicles at the end of May, while the main flowering always falls at the beginning of June. In general, the flowering of Hungarian lilacs lasts a little more than 3 weeks (from 20 to 25 days).
Forms and varieties of Hungarian lilacs
Unlike ordinary lilacs, Hungarian cannot boast an enviable variety variety or a large number of varieties. Only a basic plant and several forms of Hungarian lilac are introduced into the garden culture. Of particular popularity among them in regions with harsh winters deserved:
- lilac hungarian form pale (Syringa josikaea f. pallida) with a pale lilac, seemingly faded color;
- spectacular red-flowered form (Syringa josikaea f. rubra), in which the purple, with a reddish tint, the tone of quite dark panicles seems surprisingly noble;
- white-flowered form (Syringa josikaea f. monstrosa);
- pink, with pastel, with a lilac shade of flowers (Syringa josikaea f. rosea)
The use of Hungarian lilacs in garden design
Hungarian lilacs are often perceived only as a good candidate for stocking other types of lilacs and experiments with the cultivation of new varieties. But in fact, as a stock, this species shows not the best results, since over time the plants often reject the grafted “top”. But as a decorative shrub, the Hungarian lilac deserves much more attention. And it’s not only that with its help you can stretch the flowering of lilacs and arrange the baton with other species.
Hungarian lilac is indispensable as a decoration of decorative compositions with other beautifully flowering shrubs or perennials. As a plant that is not able to grow and capture the soil, to release unwanted shoots, which violates the structure of ensembles, it really knows no equal. Unlike other types of lilacs, it looks great even in regular compositions, it is predictable, quite strict, elegant and smart. Hungarian lilac is not afraid of close proximity and allows you to enter high accents not only in groups, but also on flower beds.
Hungarian lilacs can be used in decoration:
- hedges (not only landscape, but strict);
- in groups with shrubs and trees;
- in sirengari (planting from species and varietal lilacs, selected by flowering time and palette);
- in arrays;
- on flower beds of any size and "composition";
- in mixborders and shrubby rabatki;
- for introducing vertical accents in flowering compositions, etc.
The best partners for Hungarian lilacs are: decorative viburnum, hydrangea, astilbe, tree peony, spirea, phlox, lupins, sage, catnip, veronica, any other decorative and deciduous and flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials. This lilac goes well with evergreen and deciduous decorative wood both in hedges and in groups (spectacular, for example, duets with maple, spruce, juniper).
Conditions required by the Hungarian Lilac
This type of lilac is able to put up with shading, and although it prefers bright lighting, it can be used in landscaping semi-shady areas, in compositions with large tree or shrubs from shady sides.
Thanks to its endurance and undemanding nature, the Hungarian is one of the best lilacs for urban and polluted conditions. It perfectly tolerates neighborhood even with highways, does not suffer from any pollution and feels good in landscaping near roadways. It is considered more windproof than other types of lilacs.
The unconditional advantages of this type of lilac include its undemandingness to soils. Hungarian lilacs can settle on any cultivated, well-developed soil, regardless of the degree of its fertility and even the degree of moisture - this lilac feels good both in moist (but not swampy), and in dry soil. Of course, drained, fertile, loamy, fresh soil is preferable and positively affects the growth rate and abundance of flowering, but Hungarian lilacs can be content with much worse conditions.
The planting of Hungarian lilacs is carried out at the same time as for any other lilac. Planting is preferred in late summer or early autumn, rather than in early spring or late autumn (in this case, the plant grows very slowly in the first year). Planting pits should be deep, the application of organic and mineral fertilizers is welcome, but not necessary. After planting on seedlings, it is better to shorten the shoots by 2-3 buds, abundant watering and mulching.
Unlike other types of lilacs, Hungarian perfectly tolerates transplants even in adulthood. It is believed that the plant can be transplanted at any time, even in the midst of vegetation in the spring, but it is better to choose the same dates that are recommended for transplantation.
Hungarian Lilac Care
The drought tolerance of this type of lilac greatly simplifies garden maintenance and allows you to use a beautifully flowering accent, significantly freeing up the spring work schedule, eliminating the need to provide plants with additional watering even in drought. This plant will not need not only watering, but also top dressing (if you can apply traditional early spring top dressing with full mineral fertilizer, then it will only have a beneficial effect on the abundance of flowering).
Pruning Hungarian lilacs is carried out according to general rules. In early spring, on adult bushes, it is desirable to thin out the crown, avoiding too intense thickening of the bushes inward. Inflorescence panicles are pruned immediately after flowering. Hungarian lilacs by nature seem to be a formed shrub, develops compactly and creates a fairly strict crown. But if you want to get a different silhouette from it or to make the crown even more dense or strict, then feel free to resort to forming scraps. Usually it’s enough to just set the “vector”: this lilac so well holds the silhouette attached to it that it does not need constant haircuts and correction.
Wintering Hungarian Lilacs
This is one of the most winter-hardy lilac species recommended for the northern regions of Russia. Hungarian lilac does not need any shelter and rarely suffers even in the most unsuccessful seasons. It is perfectly restored, its shoots have time to mature before the onset of frost, while the bush does not need additional preparation for winter, even at a very young age, in the first year of planting.
Propagation of the Hungarian Lilac
The absence of offspring makes the Hungarian lilac a somewhat more difficult plant to reproduce. But on the other hand, almost 90% of cuttings are rooted in it even without treatment, which, with due diligence, allows you to get new plants quite easily. The cuttings are standard, you can root both green and lignified branches.
You can get Hungarian lilacs and from seeds. Sowing can be carried out only after a two-month stratification at a temperature of about 3-5 degrees. Sowing dates - spring or autumn, on pre-prepared beds.